For A Child Who Used To Be Normal

For A Child Who Used To Be Normal

Poem by Chen Song Ping@ TPTan, 2021

woman and three children playing water
Photo by Yulianto Poitier on

Kenneth Lee was a child who used to be normal.

Turning mentally ill becomes a fault.

Accepted societal behaviors deem formal.

People with odd behaviors balk

at societal stigma and non-acceptance with strain

to claim a rightful place in society with much pain.


For that child who used to be normal,

is ours, in good mental health or bad mental health,

while he strives be proper and formal,

training to live again at day-care in stealth

amidst his manic or depressive episodes,

least the secret of his mental status explodes.


Like a child inserting different shaped blocks

into matching holes of a structure main,

for these specially shaped blocks,

will society allow them to fit in with less pain?


For a child who used to be normal,

Anna tries to put the pieces together.

At what point did her son, Kenneth Lee, turned abnormal?

Was it the adolescence or a life less better?

‘How did I fail as a mother?’ Anna chokes on her own voice.

‘No, no. It’s not your fault!’ the doctor pacifies.

Think of the many children who still triumph after facing war’s adversities and nature‘s ire.

-Chen Song Ping, 2021-

Published by Chen S. P. @ TPTan

Serena Chen @TPTan, Master degree in nursing (Monash) . Serena teaches local and overseas nurses in a stomaltherapy program. She had presented papers internationally. Serena is a member of the ‘Golden Key International Society (Monash). She was an editor of a mental health bulletin and she enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer in this defining society.

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